War in Europe and Peace in the Middle East Heralds Economic Opportunity for Israel

March 14 2023

The confluence of the war in Ukraine, Israel’s extraction of offshore natural gas, and the improvement of Jerusalem’s ties with Turkey and several Arab countries is bringing new possibilities for the Jewish state, as Elai Rettig explains:

Ever since the discovery of major offshore gas deposits in 2009 and 2010, Israel has been struggling to secure major export deals to Europe. . . . Israel has yet to find buyers for about two-thirds of the gas it has earmarked for export and has seen its bidding rounds for new gas exploration licenses repeatedly fail.

This could change following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which caused a major price hike for imported gas in Europe and a new desire among EU policymakers to secure non-Russian gas supplies even at higher cost, especially liquified natural gas (LNG). . . . Israeli and regional investors are hopeful that LNG will be the next chapter for the eastern Mediterranean gas export market, ridding it of the geopolitics of pipelines.

In addition to raising natural-gas prices, the war in Ukraine is causing a major shift in global oil-transit routes, putting the eastern Mediterranean, and particularly Israel, right in the middle. . . . This reconfiguration of global oil routes can reignite and even expand Israel’s role as a transit and storage destination for Europe-bound oil.

Finally, Europe’s energy challenges are creating a major push towards alternative energy solutions in both Europe and the Arab Gulf states, offering Israel a major role as a leader in clean-tech innovation. On the European side, while the energy crisis is causing a rise in demand for oil, gas, and coal in the short term, it is also encouraging further investment in solar, wind, and even nuclear alternatives to increase independence from Russian imports over the longer term. . . . An additional market for Israeli innovation can be found in the Arab Gulf states as they look for solutions to decrease domestic demand for oil and gas through alternative energy systems.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Abraham Accords, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, War in Ukraine


In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan